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ABOUT GEORGE AND HIS PHOTOGRAPHY
I knew that I was destined to be a photographer the day I received a Kodak Model Instamatic 104 on Christmas Day 1967,
With a cartridge of 126 film and a pack of flash cubes, I took
pictures of everything in sight. About a year later, I received a
Polaroid Model 3000 Big Swinger camera for my eleventh birthday. I didn't have to send my film off to some far away
laboratory to be developed and wait a week to get my pictures. With the Swinger, I could have a
beautiful black and white photo in less than a minute.
My dad, however, was a little more sophisticated with his photography.
He purchased a Kodak Retina IIa 35mm camera while serving in the U.S. Navy
in the early 1950's. For many years, he took a lot of great photos
using mostly Kodachrome 64 slide film. It was fascinating
watching my father take readings from his light meter and adjusting the settings
on his camera. I was glad that I didn't have to do all of those
things with my Kodak 104. I just had to aim the camera
and push the shutter release.
When I was older and a little wiser, it occured to me that my 104
Instamatic and Big Swinger did not take the same quality of picture
that my dad's
Kodak Retina did. So, in 1982 I went to a camera
store in Augusta, Georgia and bought a used Kodak Retina Ia for $ 40.00
a used Vivitar light meter for $ 25.00. Hey, I figured that it
was similar to my dad's camera, and he could teach me how to use it.
Over the next two years, I took a lot of images with my Retina Ia.
I did everything from taking close-ups of a spider on its web to
dabbling in night photography using a cheap KMart tripod that a friend
gave to me for Christmas.
One day I was in Myrtle Beach, S.C. with a friend who had recently
purchased an Olympus OM-2 35mm camera. I realized that I had outgrown my
Kodak Retina and needed to get something more sophisticated. We
went to a camera shop, and I purchased an Olympus OMG 35mm along with a
Hitacon flash unit. Now I was really cooking. I
had a 35mm camera with both manual and automatic modes that would
handle interchangable lenses. My photography jumped to a new
level. Again, I went on a shooting spree taking pictures of everything in sight.
I know that there is a plethora of different makes and models of
cameras, and each person has their favorite. My OMG took
great pictures, so I decided to stay with Olympus. Over the next
twenty years, I collected three OM-1's, two OM-4's, and an assortment
Zuiko telephoto lenses ranging from 28mm to 600mm. A few years
ago, I finally went digital by purchasing an Olympus Camedia 450, and
shortly afterward an Evolt 500. Currently I use an Olympus E 3. I know some people think their
Nikons are the best while others rally behind their Canons. It is
like auto enthusiasts debating which is best, Chevy or Ford (I like
Chevy cars and Ford trucks).
Bottom line is that they are all good cameras and can be used to
capture great images.
Today, I use both digital and 35mm. I'm a big fan
of Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film and will continue to use it as long
as it is available.
I know that there is an on going debate over
which is better, digital or film. Each has its own advantages and
disadvantages, so why not use both depending on the circumstances.
See, debate solved.
There is also an argument that with the availability of high quality
digital cameras, computers, and editing software, that almost anyone can be a
photographer. There is a big difference between snapping a
picture and taking a good photograph. A true photographer
understands the dynamics of shutter speed, aperture, focus, ISO, white
balance, composition, lighting, depth of field, etc. This
knowledge is gained only through years of study and experience by taking thousands of images. Finally, a photographer is
an artist that is a passionate perfectionist about his or her work.
To sum it all, I love taking great images from the beauty
of God's creation in nature to people and animals doing ordinary things. How
many of us on occasion enjoy looking through an album of old pictures
and reminiscing about the past? I am glad that my father took
some photographs of my mother's father, who died when I was a little
over a year old. Even though I do not remember him, I can still
look at those 55 year old pictures and see what he looked like.
It is important that we capture images of people, animals,
places, and events today so we can share those memories with future
MY LOVE FOR ANIMALS
When my parents married in
1956, they purchased a Scottish Terrier on their honeymoon in New York
City. "Shyke" was a member of our family for over fourteen years.
As characteristic with terriers, he was fiercely loyal and a
faithful companion. Below is a picture of me, my mom, and Shyke
faithfully guarding us in December 1958. Dad took this photo with his Kodak Retina IIa.
1972 my dad's father found a small puppy on the side of the road.
He was covered in mange and did not have much hair on him.
My grandfather took "Sandy" home and nursed him back to health.
Shortly afterward, my grandfather passed away. My dad knew
that his mother would not be able to look after this dog, so he brought
him to our home and like Shyke, Sandy became a member of our family for
the next thirteen years. Below is a picture of him with Willy on
the left. More about Willy later. By the way, I snapped this with my Kodak 104 Instamatic.
Cats have also been a very important part of my life. One day,
when I was twelve years old, my mother saw a kitten wandering by itself
on the side of a busy highway. Knowing that it probably would not
survive, she brought him home. Boots became a member of our family and
brought us much joy (and some aggravation) over the next thirteen
years. Below is his picture taken with my Polaroid Swinger.
I graduated college in 1979 and moved out on my own, I went to
the local S.P.C.A. and adopted Willy. He was a black lab mix
puppy and became my constant companion and devoted friend for the next fourteen years.
He will always be my "special pet". Taken with my Olympus OMG 35mm.
Below is a list of some other friends that I have had the pleasure of sharing my home:
Dogs: Smokey, Misty, Nikki, Oscar, Jake.
Cats: Squeaky, Bad News, Spot, Sunshine, Blackberry, Sylvester.
Goats: Gloria, Nicodemus, Buttons, Hope, Chris, Eric, Dusty, Sybil.
Right now, I am honored to have Charlie living with us.
All of my animal friends have been either strays, unwanted by others, or
rescued from the S.P.C.A. I strive to give them the best home
possible by providing for their needs for safety, comfort,
sustinence, and companionship.
Images by George's goal is to capture the best image of you and your
friends. From posed portrait shots to photographs of random
activities, I will capture the personality of you and / or your
companion(s) and provide a portfolio of pictures that you will
treasure for a lifetime.
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